- Pat McManamon, ESPN Staff Writer
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BEREA, Ohio -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of the Cleveland Browns training camp:
Brian Hoyer will continue to get first-team quarterback reps through Tuesday. That’s the word from coach Mike Pettine, who said Johnny Manziel will continue to work with the backups until the team’s first day off, when the coaching staff evaluates things. If Hoyer keeps performing the way he did on Sunday, Manziel may find it increasingly more difficult to move up. Hoyer was that effective, and confident, and poised, and savvy. He clearly was the first star of the second day. As for Manziel, GM Ray Farmer said: “Johnny shows up fine.” #grabbingholdoftheposition?
It’s not fair to say that Josh Gordon has been marginalized, but he clearly is not getting the same amount of team reps with the ones and twos as he did in the offseason. It’s tough not to read into that that the team expects a tough result from Gordon’s meeting next weekend with commissioner Roger Goodell about his failed drug test. “When the league tells us what the clarity is,” Farmer said, “then that’s when we’ll move forward.” The meeting in New York evidently means that Gordon, the NFLPA and the league could not come to some sort of settlement on the issue, which happened last season when Gordon missed two games and played two games for free. That it goes to Goodell also means that rules negotiated and agreed to in the Collective Bargaining Agreement come into play. Some may wonder why Ray Rice only was suspended two games for hitting his then-fiancee while Gordon faces a year ban for testing positive for marijuana. It’s because personal conduct is the commissioner’s decision and substance abuse falls under hard-and-fast CBA agreements. #stormclouds
The running back competition could get interesting Monday when the team dons pads and runs the most physical drill of Pettine’s camp: the inside run drill. It involves five linemen, a tight end, fullback and running back against a front seven. Mano a mano. There will not be full tackling, but the blocking will be full speed and physical -- the way the coach wants it. “I want to be able to hear the practice,” Pettine said. “To me, you know when the pads are popping and we’re getting after each other.” Putting on the pads also should bring a new element to the passing game, as the pass rush will be much closer to real and the coverage more physical as well. “Football is played with the pads on so, to me the real evaluation of people really starts (Monday),” running back Ben Tate said. #saddleup
Guard Jason Pinkston was absent and the team was cryptic about the reason. Pettine merely said Pinkston was missing, he couldn’t explain why and answered “possibly” when asked if he Pinkston would be back. Pinkston had tweeted on Saturday lamenting his fate, and after Pettine spoke Pinkston tweeted that he was in no legal trouble and retirement had not come up. He referred questions to the team, which isn’t saying more than it has. Pinkston missed a considerable part of the 2012 season with blood clots, but returned last season. It’s now known if anything similar has sidelined him. #concern
Sounding like a long-time veteran, Tate also said this: “When this thing gets tough and everybody’s dead tired you’ll see (which) guys are going to dig and fight. That’s when the team is made. Guys don’t make the team in the first two days (or) three days of camp.” … To give Craig Robertson and Chris Kirksey a few extra snaps inside, the Browns put Karlos Dansby outside for a few plays. Which sounds like an intriguing notion; Dansby playng outside with his size and range. ... MarQueis Gray joined practice and returned to fullback after passing the conditioning test. He tweeted his issue was cramping. ... Joe Thomas was shown proper respect and given the practice off, while defensive lineman Phil Taylor is dealing with an unspecified injury. ... Receiver Charles Johnson remains the great unknown. Farmer said he ran a 4.38 40-yard dash coming out of college. The legend grows. ... Had the Browns been installing a new set of plays Sunday his blasé performance might have been understandable. Except they weren’t new. They were old plays practiced in the offseason. ... Manziel took the field in neon spikes, but changed them less than 30 minutes into camp. Players must wear team-issued gear. Saturday defensive lineman Calvin Barnett wore Oklahoma State socks. “That lasted a day,” Pettine said. “Even though they were Browns’ orange, that lasted a day.” ... Pettine added: “I’m a black shoe, black sock guy myself.” #dot-dot-dot-com
The last word: “Nobody knew Miles Austin until Miles Austin got his opportunity.” -- Farmer, explaining why he’s not worried about the team’s receiving corps without Josh Gordon.
1dEric D. Williams
1dEric D. Williams